As we draw a close to another incredible series, I’ll be going off the cuff, today. This connection series has got me so inspired to be real and present with you. Because if there’s anything we all have learned from these powerful conversations and expansive insights, it’s that communication is key to have healthy connections with those in our lives. Like, people don’t know what they don’t know. Right? So let’s discuss how we can open the door for others – because when we let others show up for us, what we’re really doing is showing up for ourselves.
Tune in and dive into some 1:1 time with me.
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How can you let people in just a little bit more? How can you create space to let people show up for you? Because I actually think that creating space and allowing people to show up to you is a way that you can show up to yourself. Shutting people out because you are afraid of rejection or because you’re afraid to ask what you need or you’re afraid of being disappointed — that’s not showing up for yourself. That’s shutting people out.
I ALSO TALK ABOUT…
- The impact that carrying assumptions has on your relationships.
- How to communicate your needs.
- Ways to check in on your people.
- Reflective questions for showing up to yourself.
- Episode 86: How To Set Boundaries For Inner Peace And Healthy Relationships With Nedra Glover Tawwab
- Episode 106: Having A Healthy Relationship With Yourself + Breaking Through The Self-Development Trap
- Episode 107: Friendship Goals – How To Have Healthy, Lasting Friendships With Brittany Lackey And Germani Manning Of The Black Girl Bravado
EPISODE SPONSOR: MILK + HONEY
milk + honey offers incredible spa-quality skin and body care products. Use the code BALANCED to enjoy 20% off your next order of skincare and body products at milkandhoney.com.
WHY I’M A FAN: milk + honey takes clean beauty to a whole new level. Their products are gentle, effective, and make me feel like I’m having a spa moment right at home.
THE IMPACT THAT CARRYING ASSUMPTIONS HAS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Breakups don’t only occur in romantic relationships. Breakups are the separation in any kind of relationship – specifically with those of who we are particularly close to. Having to close the door on those you love and want a part of your life is heartbreaking. But when we are in a season of establishing our needs and setting boundaries, we are also usually redefining how we want our relationships to look like – including how we want others to show up for us.
Being in a season of rebirth, it can get confusing as to what has occurred and been said with what actually hasn’t. We can be so in the thick of it, we can start to develop expectations on how we need others to show up for us and forget to communicate those needs. So when we carry assumptions about our friends, our partners, and the people that are within our life, we’re actually struggling from a lack of clear and open communication.
Point being, before you go writing anyone off, make sure you have really given them a chance to show up for you and in the way that you need to be supported. Communicate clearly and openly, and check-in with their needs as well. As you know, relationships are a two-way street. So make sure you’re walking the same road before diverging off the path.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS
We know that having clear and open communication is key, but how exactly do we go about having that? It’s hard to be vulnerable when we haven’t established boundaries of safety and trust that allow us to do so. For most people, that fear of vulnerability is what makes us feel lost as to how to navigate these conversations of communicating our needs.
Being able to do this does require a level of self-awareness and general discernment. So only you can truly define the best way for you to communicate your needs. To get you started, in case you do feel lost as to where to begin, I’ll give you three communication guidelines:
- Begin by setting the scene. Meaning, share the backstory on where this is coming from and why it’s important to you. Even if the person in front of you knows what’s going on, look at it as if you’re reminding them of the situation – even when we actively listen, it’s common to forget some of the details. This may also help you provide more insight into your needs than you weren’t able to share before.
- Check-in throughout your discussion to ensure understanding. Just as a relationship is a two-way street, so is this conversation. Touching base, making sure you both understand each other and are comfortable and open, will help you get the best possible outcome – both in real-time and in the future (with your needs being met).
- Don’t assume one conversation is enough. Just as you are now open with those in your life, do your best to make them as comfortable with you about their needs. And as we expand and evolve as individuals over time, so will our needs. Have this conversation regularly – whatever that means to you – and don’t just ask for your needs to be met, but also seek to know whether or not their needs are being met.
WAYS TO CHECK IN ON YOUR PEOPLE
You now know how to start the conversation of communicating your needs, great! You might be wondering how you can make sure your people are open about their needs with you – or how to check up on them when they might be growing distant. Because with the world being what it is, their distance or hesitancy is more likely about them than about you. So here are four easy and compassionate ways to check in on your people:
- Send them a message letting them know that you were thinking about them. ie, “LMAO – I thought this had your name all of over it. 😆 How’ve you been?”
- Offer to go on an outing that they would enjoy. ie, “Hey! Wanna go on a walk tomorrow? Coffee is on me!”
- Pay attention to what they’re sharing on socials and see if you can have a private conversation about it. ie, “I saw you posted on Instagram and wanted to hear more about what’s been going on. You know I love the 🫖 and am here whenever you want to talk!”
- If you know that they’re working on something or having a situation going on, supportively ask for an update and if you can help. ie, “How’s #Hard75challenge going? You know me – I’d be dying if I tried to do that. Can I do anything to help you or stay accountable?? I’m cheering you on!”
WHEN CHECKING ON YOUR PEOPLE KEEP IT SINCERE
The thing to focus on when checking in on your people is to make sure whatever you’re sending is about them, is genuine, and has no obligatory ties to it. When we think about checking in on our people, we’re often taught to only consider those who may be going through a hard time. But checking in is really a form of providing support and love. So don’t just check in on those you think are going through a hard time, but also those that are happy, strong, generally quiet, spacey, whatever. Send love when you’re able and that’s enough.
REFLECTIVE QUESTIONS FOR SHOWING UP TO YOURSELF
In this flow of an episode, I asked several check-in questions – prompts to reflect on how you’re showing up for yourself and how you’re letting others participate in your life. Remember, when we let others show up for us, we’re actually showing up for ourselves. Just in case you wanted a cheat sheet to these prompts and more time to move through them, I’ve listed them below. Unsurprisingly, I recommend grabbing a journal and diving deep into your truth.
- Are you carrying the assumption that people won’t show up for you? Have you communicated your needs clearly? What can you do to let go of those assumptions?
- Where did the belief that you aren’t important enough to have others show up for you come from? Can you identify a specific inner child?
- What does letting others show up for you actually look like?
- How can you let people in just a little bit more? How can you create space for others to show up for you?
- Starting with the small stuff, what are the things you need assistance with and who can you ask to help you?
- Has anyone close to you been distancing themselves? What can you do to check in with them? When will you do it?
- When we carry assumptions about the people in our life, we’re actually struggling from a lack of communication.
- Three guidelines for communicating your needs would be to 1) start by giving context to your why, 2) check-in throughout the conversation to ensure understanding, and 3) don’t assume this can all be covered in one go.
- Checking in on your people is really just a form of providing support and love, so however you do it, make sure it’s about them and has no pressure attached.
- Are you carrying the assumption that people won’t show up for you? What can you do to let others in?
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